Online seminar The Political Economy of Land Dispossession; Friday March 12th 2:30 – 4:30 pm (CET).

Frances Thomson (SOAS London) « The Political Economy of Land Dispossession ». Discussant: Mehrdad Vahabi(CEPN Sorbonne Paris Nord University)(CEPN Sorbonne Paris Nord University)

Friday March 12th 2:30 – 4:30 pm (CET). Online :

This presentation will provide a critical evaluation of some common claims about land dispossession, drawing on primary research from Colombia, as well as secondary sources covering diverse cases from all over the world. It will challenge mainstream explanations of the issue, which suggest that dispossession arises in the absence of clearly defined property rights and a strong rule of law OR that it is imposed by governments for the ‘public good’. The presentation will also put forward some alternative claims, which highlight the role of the State in mobilising land for capitalist development.

Reference paper:
Expropriations of Private Property for Economic ‘Development’ in the United States: Re-Thinking the Titling and Rule of Law Solutions to Land Grabs in the Global South. » Estudios Socio-Jurídicos 22 (2020): 1 [available online]

About the seminar Predatory State, conflicts and resistance

This monthly seminar stems from a renewal of research on the State in economics involving a critical examination of two dominant postulates of the discipline: the assumption of an apolitical State and of the exclusion of conflicts in the presence of markets. Our discussions and aim to explore how the sovereign, prudential, and providential dimensions of the state can be interpreted if these two assumptions are dropped. The interventions we host (in French or English) have a multidisciplinary scope and discuss the place of conflictual power in the genesis and evolution of the rules governing the distribution of wealth and economic, social, and ecological development.

This year’s program is available on Calenda